Military deserve tuition assistance

To the Editor:
I teach at an online military university and have been teaching the military to earn their college degrees so they can improve their lives as soldiers or sailors or airmen or marines.  Many are completing their education to get ready for that next career as a defense contractor or a GS position in the Defense Department.

These are dedicated women and men. And the shabby way our military is being treated is a slap in the face of a young soldier standing guard at our front gates of terror, as they hold back the terrors from you and me and all U.S. citizens.

Recently, a young soldier student sent me this message in an open forum discussion for all his solider students to discuss.

You should read this, then act. Please support America. We support you.

“The tuition assistance (TA) benefit being suspended was quite a shocker to me...I started and completed my undergraduate work while I was still on active duty and TA was a big reason why I was able to do that.  I understand the Navy hasn’t actually suspended TA for their sailors as of yet, but in all probability they will relent and join the other services.  I always wondered how long this funding allocation could be sustained; especially when you consider it doesn’t pull from the member’s GI Bill benefits...it was a completely separate pot of money.  In these times of cuts and restructuring it will almost certainly be difficult to bring it back in its current form.

I was saddened to hear about it because I know there were a lot of active duty personnel depending upon it...hopefully the powers that can figure out a way to revive it in a lesser form.  Personally, I don’t think there were too many folks taking advantage of TA until recently and then the trends started to change and more active-duty personnel started using it.  I think someone in the programming and budget office took note of this upward sloping trend and put the sustainability aspect under the microscope.”

The sequestration is a joke for politicians; it is hope and a chance to be a better human for our military.  Stop this madness please.

Repeal the loss of the TA.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth